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How many extra days in Berlin after the Best of Germany Tour?

For those of you who have taken the Best of Germany tour and were able to add some days in Berlin, how many did you feel was a good number? For the first time (my husband will FINALLY be retired!) we will be able to extend our trip and enjoy the last city a little longer. After reading what happens on the tour and Rick Steves Berlin book, there appears to me that there is a lot to see in Berlin. Also can you tell me if the tour hotel is in a good location to just add some nights to the tour stay? (It is Meyer's Hotel Berlin).

Any suggestions will be appreciated!

Cindy

Posted by
18853 posts

There is tons to see in Berlin for people who enjoy museums and/or sites related to 20th century history. If you happen to be interested in both, you could add 7 to 10 extra days and not run out of things to see. I'm not kidding. I'd suggest delving into the "Berlin" chapter of a good guidebook to Germany to see what you think. It doesn't appear that your tour goes inside any of the museums (there are three very large ones on Museumsinseln alone). Elsewhere on this website there are suggestions for up to 7 days in the city, and there are other possibilities not mentioned there.

Posted by
2580 posts

I haven't taken the Best of Germany tour, but I've spent 30 days in Berlin over the last 3 years and still have a lot of things I want to do there. How many extra days in Berlin? As many as you can give it.

Assuming your hotel is the Myer's Hotel Berlin (as opposed to Meyer's), it's in a great location in the Prenzlauer Berg area of Berlin. Many, many restaurants in the area. Very walkable. Nice parks. Kollwitzplatz has lots of families at play and an Ökomarkt (organic food market) on Thursdays + a mostly organic market on Saturday mornings. There is a tram stop less than a half-block away from your hotel and a U station (U2 line) about 2 blocks away. There's even a public library a couple of blocks away, if you are interested in such things. The hotel has good reviews on Trip Advisor.

Berlin is REALLY spread out. So, there's no one area in which to stay that keeps you close to "all the sights." As long as you are near public transportation, you have fairly easy access to the rest of the city. I love the place where I stay in the former West Berlin. If I didn't have such a close relationship with the owner there, though, I would probably stay in Prenzlauer Berg.

Edit: The Rough Guide to Berlin is an excellent guide book for Berlin. Credit for me finding it goes to Fred, a frequent poster on the forum.

Posted by
11262 posts

As always, everyone will answer your question differently. I happen to agree with the two posters above - Berlin can fill as many days as you can spare. Like with London, or Paris, or New York, you'll never run out of things to do there (at least I wouldn't). Of course, if you don't like big cities, or if you're not particularly drawn to twentieth century history, or you like your cities "pretty" and "picturesque," then you'll want to focus time elsewhere.

A personal story: years ago, before I had really traveled anywhere, a coworker told me "You must go to Jerusalem - it's history under your feet." When I went to Berlin, I thought of these words CONSTANTLY. I was aware of the walking on the 20th century in a very visceral way, as well as seeing reminders of the many changes the city underwent in that time (monarchy, democracy, Nazis, communists, division, reunification, gentrification, etc) and the many groups woven into the city's story (Jews, gays, Turks, etc). Not everyone responds to the same things, but for me, Berlin is amazing. (Jerusalem, when I finally got there, ironically made much less of an impression on me than Berlin did).

Posted by
12316 posts

"As many as you can give it." Very true as it pertains to Berlin. Assuming you have some time, I would suggest at least 6 nights. Besides the history connected with Nazism and WW2, there are numerous sites to be seen on Prussian history if you're interested in tracking those down. I've been going to Berlin since my first trip to Europe in the summer of 1971. Going to there as a college backpacker without a trip to (west) Berlin then was unthinkable.

Obviously, the sites connected with the Nazism and the war are numerous, ...all depends on what you want to see in terms of military cemeteries, (German, Russian, British), museums, monuments, memorials, and also those connected with WW1. There is a lot more depending if you have time to go outside of the Greater Berlin area, such Seelow, Neuhardenberg, Potsdam, etc.

Posted by
381 posts

Berlin is a wonderful city that will fill however much time you can spend. A great deal of the history is within in our lifetimes but, in my case, we were not paying attention. I have two titles for you that added a great deal to our visit.

"The House by the Lake: One House, Five Families, and a Hundred Years of German History" by Thomas Hardy
"In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin" by Erik Larsen

Posted by
1542 posts

I spent five nights in Berlin and thought it was just about right, for my taste. As noted, it is a big, spread out city and I personally reach my big city limit at about 5 days. I looked at your tour itinerary and it looks like you'll just hit the highlights of the city. Depending on your personal tastes, and how tired you think you'll be after the tour ends, adding at least two or three days would be ideal. The very good (and free) wall-oriented museums can take the better part of a day (or two). I really enjoyed the museum island attractions (very busy and crowded, I had a museum pass and still had to wait in line). I also enjoyed a walking tour with Berlin Walks as well as a funky art walk with Alternative Berlin Free Tours. Whatever you choose, you can't go wrong!

Posted by
116 posts

Thanks for all the wonderful replies! I guessed that we would need to spend several extra nights in Berlin. We are taking the Scandinavia tour before this but figured we could rest when we get home. (haha!) I am a big book reader and have read many WWII books so am anxious to see Berlin and the area. I will definitely think about all the ideas suggested. Thanks again!

Posted by
12316 posts

Hi,

On Berlin if you're into pursuing a lot more of its history in depth, I heartily recommend the book by Alexandra Richie, her scholarly work on Berlin. Sorry, can't remember the exact title and subtitle...well worth your time, masterful, erudite, readable, and scholarly.

Posted by
12316 posts

Hi,

I have the exact title now..."Faust's Metropolis: A History of Berlin." (Alexandra Richie).

On Berlin prior to the Weimar Republic, Hitler and Nazism, most definitely the work by G. Masur, "Imperial Berlin." depicting its history, politically, militarily, culturally within the framework of Prussian-German history.

Posted by
30 posts

We took the Best of Germany tour this past September...you will be TIRED after 13 days. Berlin is huge and very spread out. The tour shows you the highlights on a great walking tour. Maybe we'd go there again another time, but I was ready to get home after the tour. JMHO Have a great time!!

Posted by
116 posts

From the looks of the replies, maybe the last day of the tour will be a rest day! Thanks everyone.

Posted by
133 posts

I took this tour in August and stayed on for 3 days after it ended - several of the people on our tour stayed extra days as well, which was a nice way to relax and decompress after all those days on the tour (which was a fantastic tour, by the way). There is so much to see in Berlin -- be sure to get a reserved time slot to go into the dome at the Bundestag. We also did a 1 hour cruise on the Spree River which was a relaxing way to end a day of sightseeing. Potsdam is an interesting little city not far away by train that you could add. Myers Hotel is a very nice little hotel and there are lots of great small restaurants nearby and easy access to local transit. So much of the pleasure of Berlin was taking the time to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy seeing the sights at a reasonable pace with lots of breaks for coffee or beer. Our guide had some good suggestions as well for additional things to see in Berlin that weren't covered during the tour, and the guidebook and forum are good places for additional information. Enjoy it!!!

Posted by
655 posts

We are taking the Scandinavia tour before this but figured we could rest when we get home

I can't give advice on extra days in Berlin specifically but I would suggest considering staying in Europe longer. These 2 tours add up to almost a month which is a good chunk of time. The airfare from Calif is already paid so the extra days are relatively inexpensive. And you're already over the jetlag so after a month you won't have a nagging tiredness.

RS advises taking a vacation from your vacation so you could do something like go to a lake (Lake Constace is beautiful) or ocean for a couple of days rest and then explore more of Europe. Towns you didn't visit in Germany, Austria, etc. And more distance places are just an hour or two flight away.